Date: February 24th, 2010 Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.33.3 Speaker: HG Urmila Mataji
sa eva visvasya bhavan vidhatte guna-pravahena vibhakta-viryah sargady aniho ‘vitathabhisandhir atmesvaro ‘tarkya-sahasra-saktih
TRANSLATION: My dear Lord, although personally You have nothing to do, You have distributed Your energies in the interactions of the material modes of nature, and for that reason the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the cosmic manifestation take place. My dear Lord, You are self-determined and are the Supreme Personality of Godhead for all living entities. For them You created this material manifestation, and although You are one, Your diverse energies can act multifariously. This is inconceivable to us.
PURPORT: The statement made in this verse by Devahuti that the Absolute Truth has many diverse energies although He personally has nothing to do is confirmed in the Upanisads. There is no one greater than Him or on an equal level with Him, and everything is completely done by His energy, as if by nature. It is understood herein, therefore, that although the modes of material nature are entrusted to different manifestations like Brahma, Visnu and Siva, each of whom is particularly invested with different kinds of power, the Supreme Lord is completely aloof from such activities. Devahuti is saying, “Although You personally are not doing anything, Your determination is absolute. There is no question of Your fulfilling Your will with the help of anyone else besides Yourself. You are, in the end, the Supreme Soul and the supreme controller. Your will, therefore, cannot be checked by anyone else.” The Supreme Lord can check others’ plans. As it is said, “Man proposes and God disposes.” But when the Supreme Personality of Godhead proposes, that desire is under no one else’s control. He is absolute. We are ultimately dependent on Him to fulfill our desires, but we cannot say that God’s desires are also dependent. That is His inconceivable power. That which may be inconceivable for ordinary living entities is easily done by Him. And in spite of His being unlimited, He has subjected Himself to being known from the authoritative scriptures like the Vedic literatures. As it is said, sabda-mulatvat: He can be known through the sabda-brahma, or Vedic literature.
Why is the creation made? Since the Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead for all living entities, He created this material manifestation for those living entities who want to enjoy or lord it over material nature. As the Supreme Godhead, He arranges to fulfill their various desires. It is confirmed also in the Vedas, eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman: the supreme one supplies the necessities of the many living entities. There is no limit to the demands of the different kinds of living entities, and the supreme one, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, alone maintains them and supplies them by His inconceivable energy. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport.]
HG Urmila Mataji: So Devahuti says that the Lord’s desires are not obstructed. They are always fulfilled. We have so many desires. If we can think for a moment of all the desires that we have even just in one day, what to speak of a lifetime or many lifetimes, can we stay that our own desires are unobstructed? Can anyone say that? That what ever they desire it is there? Even after much endeavor they may still be obstructed.
It is explained in the fifteenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita that the whole creation is situated on desires like a banyan tree that is reflected in the water of desire. Really it is our desires that are moving everything As Krishna explains,
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram tam tam evaiti kaunteya sada tad-bhava-bhavitah [Bg 8.6]
smaran bhavam what you think about – smaran is to remember, to think about and bhavam is your emotions, your mood, not just what you think about in passing but what you think about with intensity. That determines the body and the situation that you have. So if we think now about the body that we have in this lifetime, the family in which we were born, the amount of wealth we have, health, education, connections, how much facility we have for spiritual life according to our birth situation – that was all determined by our previous desires.
Anybody here can look at their life and you can say, “Perfect!” Anybody? Do you look in the mirror and say, “Yes, exactly what I wanted.” So although our desires are running everything we don’t know what to desire. Similarly our desires are the key to attaining perfection. This section or this chapter starts with siddhi bhumim. This is about attaining perfection. So in the twelfth chapter Krishna says we should think of Him with love, and if you can’t do that what should you do? My Bhakti Sastri students you better know this by now! Follow the regulative principles! And what is the Sanskrit? You all know that Maharaj knows the whole Bhagavad-gita and Krishna book right? We were once sitting at prasadam in Russia and he said would you like to hear a chapter from Krishna book. You think he is going to open the book but he just recites a chapter.
It is abhyasa-yoga. [Bg 8.8] So if you can’t just think of Krishna with love you do this abhyasa-yoga or as we generally call it sadhana bhakti. Abhyasa means practice. And why to do abhyasa-yoga? To develop iccha – desire, because if you only desire Krishna then you attain Krishna. If you are desiring a dog then you become a dog. You desire Krishna you become like Krishna.
One time we were taking our students on a field trip. You all know what a field trip is? It is were you go and study something outside the classroom. One the way back we saw a lot of smoke in the air. There was a big fire and the children said, “Oh, Mother Urmila, lets go see the fire.” There was an apartment complex on fire – eight apartments, very sever fire. We couldn’t get close for a long time. After the fir brigade put out the fire we went close. We saw a young woman with three small children outside of the house. She didn’t have her shoes. She didn’t have her money. She had just grabbed her children.
In the same way at the time of death the mind grabs that to which it has the greatest attachment. When the body is on fire at death the mind tries to hold on, “What can I take with me out of this world?” And that is what constructs our next body even not just at the time of death. Our various desires in this life push us to action.
We talk about the law of karma. Karma is determined by our desires. I want something. Therefore I act in a particular way and according to those actions I get reactions. So everything whether material of spiritual is seated on desire. The various bodies and situations I get in this world are all seated on desire and my ultimate attainment of perfection or love of God is also seated ion desire, whether material or spiritual.
I asked in the beginning that we might ask, “Can I really control whether or not I get my desires? Can I really remove all the obstructions?” Is it just a matter of sitting down and saying, “Okay, I have a desire.” There are some new age philosophies like that. Maybe some of you may have heard of them. You just sit down and desire. You don’t do anything. You just sit in your room and meditate – “Red car with fancy wheels and I am driving it. It feels really good.” And you will just look and there in your driveway it will be. I think we have all had experience that this doesn’t necessarily work. Even things you strive for very diligently with great endeavor over a long period of time may not succeed. Isn’t it? Or you may succeed and when you succeed you find out that wasn’t what I wanted. Why did I try so hard for that? Isn’t it? I am gong to get this job at this company and you work so hard.
One devotee came to me the other day, “I am in love with this girl. Help me marry her.” When you marry her she may not necessarily be what you have in her head and you may say, “Why did I work so hard for this?” So we cannot control that and an intelligent person figures out that, “I am not the only agent for fulfilling my desires. There are other factors beyond my control.” So an intelligent person goes to a more powerful person and enlists their help. They go to maybe a politician or somebody or a demigod. In modern society not too many people goes to demigods. And they try to get their help for fulfilling their desire.
This is a very important point. That the materialistic person, the conditioned soul doesn’t understand the way to really become satisfied is to fulfill your desires in a different way. We look at the root of all desires. Lets think of money. Anybody here would refuse money? They say that no matter how much money you are earning you always want to earn ten percent more. So if someone outside the door offered you a thousand euros would you accept? Probably.
So why do we want money? We want money because it gives us security. If I have money I can have a place to stay. I can pay for the water bill, the electricity. I can buy food. I can buy clothing. I can get safety. Money may also give me some status in a community. I have therefore community and friends. It can give me pleasures, nice food, nice clothing, a good CD player with a first class speaker, vacation trips. So what are we looking for? We are looking for security. We are looking for happiness. Or money may get you knowledge then you can pay for all the MI courses or you can go to a university. So ultimately we are not looking for money. Ultimately we are looking for eternity, knowledge and bliss – relationships that have meaning, happiness, satisfaction or fun. That is really the root of our desires.
The problem with the materialists is that they are trying to fulfill those desires, which are ultimately spiritual because they are part of the soul in a way separate from Krishna and that is why those desires are obstructed. But they don’t figure that out. They don’t figure that I am trying to fulfill my desires in the wrong way. They become very determined.
It is explained, bahir mukha, we have turned our face from Krishna and we think that the fulfillment of our desires is ahead of us. We see something ahead of us, some nice car, a house, nice man, nice women, nice this or that and we think, “That will give me happiness, That will give me safety. That will give me knowledge.” But if we try to get it we just hit a wall. That is because what we are looking at is just a reflection. Where is the reality therefore? If in front of us there is a reflection then the reality must be behind us. We turned from it.
So the materialistic person who figures out, “I am not independent in fulfilling my desires.” They don’t think to turn around to the genuine source of fulfillment. They simply try to get someone to help them to pull the apple and the car and the house out of the mirror and that of course is ultimately frustrated because even if you get that thing – duhkhalayam asasvatam. [Bg 8.15] It is temporary. It doesn’t give you real satisfaction.
Sometimes people even go to Krishna and sometimes the demigods and Krishna fulfill those desires but the person doesn’t get the root of the desire fulfilled. Like Hiranyakasipu, he got a strong body, couldn’t be attacked with thunderbolt, he could be victorious over everyone in the universe but he didn’t get the root of that desire which is real eternal life, a position of ultimate security. He got his palaces, he got all of his money and opulences but he didn’t get happiness. It is said he was always drunk on strong smelling wines and always chastising the demigods for no reason – two major symptoms of not being happy. You can tell an unhappy person ‘cos they are always yelling at others for no reason. So he apparently got his desires but he didn’t really get his desires.
So a little more intelligent thinks, “Oh okay. It is not just asking Krishna or the demigods or somebody for my desires but let me try to align my desires with Krishna.” Because here it says that Krishna’s desires are never obstructed, so if I align my desires with Krishna, whose desires are never obstructed then my desires also will not be obstructed.
The lowest level of this are the devas. They are thinking, “I want to control.” They have aisvarya bhava. Let me control for Krishna. Let me control with Krishna. Let me control the way Krishna desires. Let me vanquish the demons. Let me establish dharma in the universe. But because they are not really fully aligned with Krishna still they don’t get the essence of what they are desiring. It is a little bit better but it is still not quite there.
The pure devotee understands that Krishna wants to give me complete satisfaction of the essence of all desires. Krishna doesn’t want to give me something, which will not truly fulfill my desires. Krishna wants to give me the genuine thing.
If your child is hungry do you want to give them chewing gum? You all know what is chewing gum? Originally they used to get it from trees in South America, it was a sticky resin substance and you chew it and you chew it and they put some flavor in it but you can’t swallow it. I mean you can but it would not be a very happy thing to swallow it. It is not actual food. It doesn’t have any nourishment. But like some cow you can make some chewing motions and you get some taste sensation. So you may have some illusion that you are eating but you are not truly eating.
Now they have food for people who want to loose weight – zero calorie food. The whole purpose of food is calories. So it looks like food, taste like food but doesn’t actually give you any nourishment. It gives you disease instead. So what good parent wants to give their hungry child zero calorie food? If your child is hungry you want to give the genuine food.
So the pure devotees or those aspiring for pure devotional service they know, I should go to Krishna for the fulfillment of my desires because He is all the thing Devahuti says here, because He is the modes of material nature, He is creation, dissolution and maintenance and He controls all these through breaking up the modes of material nature. He has no material activities. He is the Lord of the jives. He has sahastra sakti, He has all potencies and His desires are never obstructed. So for all these reasons Devahuti gives I am going to go to Him. Not only am I going to go to Him not to say, “Okay Krishna here is my list. I like this, I like this, I like this and that. Okay hurry up!” The order supplier! Not like that.
Order supplier means like you go to a shop and if they have it you buy it and then you leave the shop and if they don’t have it you also leave the shop. Treating Krishna like an order supplier means that I ask Him for some things. Once He gives it I go away and if He doesn’t give it I also go away. I only stay long enough to pick up my order. Not like that. And not even like the devas. But Krishna I know that You know the best way to fulfill all my real desires, the deep desires. The reason I want that pair of shoes or that sari or that new house or to marry that person or to move to that place is because what I am really looking for Lord is You. I am really looking to be myself, to be a soul. Na jayate mriyate va kadacin [Bg 2.20] I am looking to be that eternal being who has full security, who has full happiness.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati commenting on anandambudhi-vardhanam [Cc Antya
20.12] of the Siksastaka , he says although the jiva is limited his capacity for enjoyment is unlimited. That is what I am looking for. I am looking for unlimited enjoyment – eternal youthful life with no old age and disease, perfect eternal relationships, my eternal home.
yad-bhava-bhavita-dhiyo manujas tathaiva samprapya rupa-mahimasana-yana-bhusah suktair yam eva nigama-prathitaih stuvanti govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami [Brahma-samhita Text 5.36]
We all have a home. We all have our own furniture in there, asana, our own ornaments. I am looking really for that and so my dear Lord if you think I am asking just simply for zero calorie food I trust You if You don’t give me that. I trust that You are going to fulfill all my desires in reality. You may not fulfill my illusory ways of getting those desires. You don’t want me filling my belly with zero calorie food. Rather you want to increase and increase and increase my iccha, my desire for You because only in that way will I get the true fulfillment of all desires. And my dear friends if we have that desire that is always fulfilled and never obstructed because that is also Krishna’s desire. Krishna is desiring more that we to have us back. Just like parents of an errant child they much more desire the child to come home than the child wants to come home. It is always like that.
So Krishna’s greatest desire is that we come – is that we have our relationship of love with Him and Prabhupada says each of us has a unique relationship with Krishna. Rupa Goswami delineates the five stayi bhavas and then there are so many divisions of each. The different kinds of gopis, right wing and left wing and they have all different categories. And you go down one sub level, two sub levels, three sub levels but each of us has our own unique relationship with Krishna and He is missing that.
Of course He can manifest Himself – atmarama. Just like when Brahma stole all the cowherd boys and the calves Krishna could manifest copies. So whatever unique relationship we have Krishna can get that without our participation but He would rather get it with our participation. Why? Because that makes us happy and He wants our happiness. One of the devotees just embroidered a chaddar for me and I was happy and she said, “I am doing this for your happiness.” She said, “This is my reward, to see you happy!” The devotees are going to be in a drama tonight. Why? So the audience will be happy. That is your pay. So Krishna is also like that.
Prabhupada explains in the story of Krishna fighting Jambavan that Krishna has all the incarnations of all of us. So He also wants us to be happy. That is His greatest pleasure – to see that we are happy, not by chewing gum, not by craziness but He wants us to be happy in reality. So that is His desire. Therefore if we also have that desire it will certainly be fulfilled. There will not be any obstruction. You can say, “Oh that sounds very nice but I have been trying to cultivate that desire for five years, ten years, twenty years, thirty years, forty years and it seems that there are so many obstructions. Prabhupada explains that pure devotional service is when it continues despite the obstructions.
Everybody understands this in the world. There are so many love songs, materialistic love songs – there ain’t no mountain high enough, no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you. Of course materially that is not true. If you love somebody in this world there is a river wide enough and a mountain high enough that would stop the relationship but that is the test.
When Prabhupada was speaking about this one other time he was saying, “Just like I have come to America and I had two heart attacks,” but they didn’t stop Srila Prabhupada. They didn’t stop Srila Prabhupada. Nothing obstructs it even if your only child is killed on the battlefield surrounded by Maharatis practically in the presence of the Lord and your color of devotion for Krishna doesn’t change even one shade. You accept, “My dear Lord if the death of my son will help put forward Your plan then I am happy to play that role. I accept whatever it maybe.”
Gadotkacha what was his role? To accept the shakti dart and fall on the battlefield so Arjuna wouldn’t be harmed. That was his part. He didn’t say, “Oh, Krishna I am Your devotee. Why are You killing me on the battlefield with the shakti dart? Why are You putting this obstruction?”
The cowherd boy when they came back from the brahmanas – and Krishna had told them, “Go to the brahmanas.” Sometimes we think if Guru or Krishna says, “Do this.” It must all work out. He said, “Go to the brahmanas.” They came back and they said, “They didn’t even answer. They didn’t even have the courtesy to say no, they just ignored us. How is this? Your infallible orders.” Krishna said, “Don’t worry. This is what happens when you beg. Sometimes people say no.” That was Krishna’s desire to glorify the wives of the brahmanas so the cowherd boys were happy. “Okay we still love Krishna.” That was I am sure humiliating. Isn’t that humiliating? You go to ask somebody for something and they ignore you but their love for Krishna didn’t change never mind whatever.
The Kurus are trying to take my clothes off I don’t think, “Krishna why are Your letting this happen. Krishna save me. Whatever You want please save me if You like.” So the way to have our spiritual desires unobstructed is that whenever there is an obstruction we go on somehow or the other. Maybe you can’t go on very much. Gajendra was in the water for a thousand years bitten by the crocodile! He couldn’t eat. You know we fast for one day it is hard – do a nirjala for twenty-four hours and after a while you are just, “When is break fast?” Thousand years and being bitten by a crocodile! He was in extreme pain.
Sometimes the obstructions give us extreme pain and with great difficulty he lifted the lotus flower. That was all he could do, just somehow or the other to lift the flower and offer some prayers. Even sometimes all you can do is just remember Krishna. So sick maybe there is a tube down your throat, you can’t speak or whatever. Somehow to retain that favorable attitude anukulyena krsnanu-silanam [Cc Madhya 19.167] Krishna I am always favorably disposed to You doesn’t matter what You do to me. You can throw me, You can kill my son on the battlefield. Whatever You do I am always favorable. And if we do that then our spiritual desires will be fulfilled also unobstructed. We will get our hearts desire.
As it is said in Bhagavatam that to a tried devotee that Krishna’s mercy is unlimited like Brahman and suksmanam – very, very fine and then we will truly get everything that we ever want. We may not get the broken pieces of glass but we will get a fine diamond and we will say, “My Lord I am so sorry that I ever asked You for broken pieces of glass.” So we should be considering at every moment what am I really desiring and do I realize that everything that I am desiring ultimately is wanting Krishna. Why don’t they just want Krishna? Let me just want Krishna. Let me You. Think of Krishna, to be with Krishna, to serve Him, to serve His mission in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to serve His devotees, to serve His dham. And in all circumstances I will do atleast some service and I will trust not that Krishna will fulfill all of my desires externally exactly how I have it in my head because what I have in my head may be zero calories food, but that Krishna will fulfill all of my needs, all of my desires in total perfection. And that I trust that He knows how to do that far better than I do. I therefore put myself in His hands and simply meditate on His service.
When we do that what one gets is peace. One gets freedom, one gets peace without which there is no question of happiness. Therefore the devotee is not affected by anything in this material world. So thank you very much. We have a few minutes for questions or comments. Yes Prabhu. [Applause.]
Question: How to keep the desire to desire only what Krishna desires?
Urmila Mataji: It keeps wavering that, “Darn I missed the sadhana bhakti.” It is a problem isn’t it? How to get to the point were one is always fixed? So of course the reason that it is wavering is that there is still these anarthas in the heart and these anarthas are acting as magnets and they are attracting raja-guna and tamo-guna to cover us because when I have an anartha, when I have something unwanted, means it is illusory and I can’t get something illusory fulfilled if I am in the light of the truth by definition. So when I want something illusory Krishna has to cover me. So how to get rid of the illusory things? He is very good at that. We have one devotee Bhakti Vijnana Vinasa Narasimha Maharaj. So that of course take some courage to go in front of the Lord and say, “Please remove the garbage however You want to do it and I will cooperate with You.”
It takes some courage. We are afraid. Just like we have some devotees, I am sure you all know somebody that has cancer. Everybody knows someone who has cancer? So sometimes the person is feeling healthy and they just go for a regular checkup. One devotee just told her this just happened to her. And I said, “Oh you have cancer.” You didn’t know you had cancer?” The doctor says that you have cancer and you trust the doctor. You are looking at the scans and the x-rays and you don’t know how to read them. The doctor said that is cancer and that will kill you and you say, “Okay, yes Sir! What do I have to do Sir?” And he says, “Well we going to cut you open.” Can you imagine! “Here cut me open.” Such trust. And the doctor may say, “After we cut you open we are going to flood your body with poison. You will vomit. Your hair will fall out. It will hurt for you to touch your japa beads.”
One of my godsisters was telling me she had to get fluffy japa bead because it hurt to touch the beads. “Your immune system will be compromised. You won’t be able to be out in public and we will radiate you and yes I know you read that article that if the radiation is one centimeter off it will burn holes in your bones, but we will be careful.” And you say, “Yes Sir!” And you do it. So we have to trust Krishna like that. We go in front of the doctor as Pankajanghri Prabhu says, ‘Doctor Nrsimhadev’ you go in front of the doctor and you say, “Diagnose me please.” And He says, “Okay this thing you think is love is actually lust!” ” No it is not it is nice.” “No it is lust. This thing you think is devotion is just desire for pratista.” Here are all the tumors and you have to believe Him.
We argue. Krishna tells us in the heart. Prabhupada speaks to us from the purport, Guru says to us, “This is an anartha.” “No it is not an anartha. I like it.” Like the people who keep pythons as pets. They keep a tiger as a pet – nice tiger. So we have to believe it is an anartha. And then we have to submit ourselves for the treatments with faith, with courage. We should have at least as much courage as an ordinary materialistic, atheistic cancer patient has for a very fallible doctor. And then submit, “Lord whatever you want to do it is all right. It is all right.” And if you say, “Well I can’t do that.” If some of you are listening to me and you are going, “No, no, not now! Maybe in five years.” There is one devotee who says this. Every time I tell her, “You should take care of this problem.” She says, “Maybe in five years. Maybe in twenty years.” So if you fell like that then we pray for courage.
As Lord Ramacandra says and Nrsimhadev also says, if you go and pray for courage – courage is faith – “Please give me courage. Please give me the courage to trust You.” Maybe it will hurt. Sometimes it hurts. I am not going to lie to you and say it will not hurt. Prabhupada said. it is a hard struggle with determination.
Yes, kevala ananda-khanda – I know that but it sometimes hurts also. Why? Because we are holding on to the anarthas. We are holding on. If somebody pulls it hurts. But if we are willing to take the surgeons knife and the chemotherapy why can’t we take Krishna’s treatment? Why not? And actually it only hurts for moments. We all have so much experience. Everyone here has experience of giving up some anartha and finding, “Why didn’t I do that a long time ago?” It is wonderful!” You feel clean and refreshed like you just took a bath in a clear lake’
So if we want to always, brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu [Bg 18.54] if we want always to be in ecstasy, if we want always to be free and we want always to remember Krishna, nistha, we want to be fixed we have to be willing to get rid of the anarthas. Which means we have to submit to the doctor with courage. And how do we do that? Because we want Krishna SO MUCH that we are willing to do anything. Otherwise we will not have the courage.
People want to get money SO MUCH that they will work 16 hours a day, they will eat garbage food, they will neglect their families just to make money. We should be willing also to go through anything for Krishna. How to do that? One has to hear about Krishna, how wonderful Krishna is. Rupa Goswami says if you hear about how wonderful Krishna is then you will not be interested in any of these anarthas. Then you will say, “Okay whatever I need to do, okay I don’t care what it is. I don’t care! Put me in a worm body.” Rukminin says to Krishna, “You can put me in any species of life, I don’t care as long as I have You.”
So to get that courage that we can submit ourselves one has to develop some attachment to Krishna. One has to meditate on how wonderful Krishna is, how charming he is, how beautiful He is, how strong He is. Here we have descriptions of Him in the material world on how powerful He is. And if you can’t do that meditate on Him in water and light, gravity. How wonderful He is and after a while you will think, “I will do anything to get Him., whatever it takes. Kill me on the battlefield or whatever.” Does that help? I think we have time for one more question. Yes Prabhu?
Question: Will Krishna do it anyway?
HG Urmila Mataji: No. Krishna does not interfere with the minute independence of the living entity. You have to desire. Therefore Krishna says the purpose of abhyasa-yoga or sadhana-bhakti is to develop a desire. No doctor will go into your house in the middle of the night and put chloroform on your face and take out your tumor without your permission. You have to have a desire. No university will give you a diploma, just walk into your house and you are sitting in front of the television and give you a diploma. You have to have a desire. And that is all we have really. Prabhupada says in Isopanisad we should know what is ours and what is not ours. What I have is desire, I have my free will. So Krishna will not interfere with our free will.
Thank you very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupad!. All glories to Mayapur dham! [Aplause.]